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Wild Water Rafting Through the Bible: Navigating the Rapids in Children's Ministry

Matthijs Vlaardingerbroek| Nov 1, 2023
A group of teenagers who are wild water rafting through an open Bible

Delve into the adventurous world of children's ministry, likened to 'wildwater rafting'. This post shares a lively Bible study session on Psalm 23 that sparked discussions on animal rights and afterlife, turning unexpected topics into teachable moments.

Today, I'd like to share a vivid illustration from a recent Bible study session that I believe encapsulates the challenges and joys we face in our work with children and young teens.

Psalm 23 and Animal Rights: A Lively Discussion in Children's Bible Study

The study was based on Psalm 23, and all was going well until I mentioned an example that involved animal sacrifices. Immediately, the room was aflame with passionate discussions about animal rights, vegetarianism, and cruelty against animals. The study had taken an unexpected turn, transforming into a lively discussion.

Just when things seemed to be settling down, another "bomb" was dropped: a question about what happens after death. Again, a spirited discussion ensued.

Wildwater Rafting in Bible Study: Turning Unexpected Discussions into Teachable Moments

This may sound like chaos to some, but for those of us who've worked in inner city environments, this sort of lively debate, even with its ups and downs, is part of the journey. At times, conducting Bible study or children's ministry can feel like 'wildwater rafting', where every unexpected discussion topic is a rapid, tossing our boat in different directions.

The key is to keep the boat steady, be prepared to get wet, and most importantly, enjoy navigating these tumultuous waters. If we anticipate a calm row down a peaceful stream, these 'rapids' might exhaust us. But if we're ready for an adventurous ride down a swift river, we'll find exhilaration in guiding our raft through these challenges.

Are You a Calm Rower or a Wildwater Rafter? The Adventures of Children's Ministry

So, what's your passion? Are you a calm rower or a wildwater rafter? Children's ministry in challenging settings is not for the faint of heart, but for those who thrive on the unexpected and enjoy the thrill of navigating the rapids. It's about embracing the unexpected, guiding lively discussions, and having the flexibility to turn these situations into teachable moments.

Adventure in Bible Study: Embracing the Unexpected in Children's Ministry

As we engage with our young learners, let us remember that every unexpected discussion, every question, and every passionate debate is an opportunity for growth. Let's hold on to our oars, lean into the rapids, and enjoy the ride, turning challenges into opportunities for transformation.

P.S. Don't shy away from the 'rapids' in your work; they are opportunities in disguise. Remember, the most exhilarating rides often come from the roughest waters. Take a deep breath, grip your oar, and paddle through - you're not alone in this wildwater rafting adventure. We're all in the same boat, navigating these challenges together.

Keywords: Bible study, Children's ministry, Teachable moments, Wild Water Rafting, Psalm 23, Bible Discussion, Transformation, Adventure

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